Dove’s latest social good campaign is an effort to balance family caregiving roles.
The personal care brand announced its Paternity Leave Fund on Feb. 19 with plans to raise over $1 million for dads across the US over the next two years, CNN reports. Through the fund, fathers who don’t have access to paternity leave will be eligible to receive $5,000 grants to stay home with their new children. Alexis Ohanian, Reddit co-founder, helped launch the campaign.
Working men and fathers who apply for the grant have to sign a pledge committing to help companies provide paternity leave to new dads.
Being a new father has propelled me to take the #PaternityLeavePledge with @dovemencare. Having had the opportunity to build a bond with my boys in the very beginning of their lives was amazing! @dad2summit#DoveMenPartner#Dad2Summit TAKE THR PLEDGE AT: https://t.co/UQ3394Iu8Upic.twitter.com/v1eBJ66aGQ— Shaun T (@ShaunT) February 22, 2019
"Working dads shouldn't have to choose between their children and a paycheck—because when they take paternity leave, it benefits families, workplaces and communities," Dove said on its website.
In the US, there is currently no paternity leave law at the federal level. This often causes caregiving roles to fall on mothers and makes it harder for them to reenter the workforce. It also perpetuates traditionally gendered roles.
Ohanian, husband of tennis star Serena Williams and father of their 17-month-old daughter, joined the campaign because he wants to be an example to other working men.
“No dad should have to sacrifice taking leave, and I’ve been very public about taking mine in an effort to show other men that you can still be an ambitious businessperson while also taking time for your family,” he said in a press release.
The Department of Labor reports 70% of fathers in the US take 10 days of parental leave or less, to take care of their children and families. Studies show that when fathers are more involved in child care, children have fewer behavioral problems, and improved cognitive and mental health outcomes. While paid paternity leave isn’t enough to close gender wage gaps alone, when fathers take parental leave, mothers gain more opportunities to receive paid work, which boosts female labor force participation and wages.